Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Seattle Nonprofit Undergoes Audit

SouthEast Effective Development (SEED) in Seattle is undergoing a review of its programs and goals as well as an outside audit, reviews that could determine the organization's direction in the future.

In addition to these developments, SEED's executive director -- Earl Richardson -- is on indefinite leave and its finance director was recently dismissed, according to a report in The Puget Sound Business Journal. Richardson, who has lead the nonprofit since 1995, has said his leave is due to medical issues and he is not sure when he will return.

The audit of SEED was requested by interim executive Mark Flynn, a retired U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) executive. He said the audit's purpose is to make sure the organization is current on all of its accounts. The housing nonprofit recently had a three-month stretch when it stopped making payments on a $925,000 loan connected with a retail space.

SEED was founded in 1975 and was a major player in Seattle's effort to bring economic and community development to the city's ethnically and economically diverse areas. The organization was responsible for the revitalization of the Columbia City retail district in the 1980s and 90s. A 2010 IRS filing showed that SEED managed more than 700 housing units "through ownership, sponsorships, and contractual assistance."

Virginia Kenyon, SEED's board president, said the organization is considering returning to economic development, which it abandoned after the private United Way funding that sustained those efforts dried up in the 1990s and 2000s. Changes could potentially include the dismissal of Richardson as executive director, as Kenyon noted that positions serves at the discretion of the board.

You can read the full story in The Puget Sound Business Journal.

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